On my hands and knees, struggling

I’m not there yet…not as bad as I was in June 2017…but I’m close.

Because I feel like I’m crawling through life on my hand and knees.

I heard someone describe depression once as “a video game – we are all in a video game and everyone has been given instructions and are starting on the easiest mode – but people who are depressed have been given no instruction at all and their lives are set to the hardest mode” and I get that – I so relate – because it feels like everyone around me is saying “it’s easy” “this is so fun” “wow – just like that!” and I’m struggling. I’m running, jumping, ducking, diving, getting shot at and having to fight demons with no weaponry when everyone around me is collecting gold coins and smiling away – having the best time.

This sucks ass, you guys.

This is so hard.

“Just set goals” my best friend LB and a stranger I’ve never met in real life (he is a Facebook mate) have tried hard to encourage me “Just set goals and as you reach them, you’ll feel so much better”.

But I can’t breathe.

“Just think positive thoughts”

But my lungs burn.

“Just have a weekend away – to rest”

But I spent the whole weekend being ‘interesting’, ‘funny’, ‘entertaining’ and FAKE so that Alun could exhale.

Since I’ve told Alun that I’m suicidal, he’s been shaking. He’s been so pale and so worried.

Alun and “George” (my beloved Psych) both planned out the weekend just gone – Alun ‘took me away’ from house chores/stress by booking us into a hotel room. We spent the weekend touring the city, playing mini golf (which Alun loved because the whole theme was to get as drunk as possible while swinging colourful golf clubs. Each ‘hole’ had a little table to put your drinks on and the entire golf course was set to make drinking as easy as possible with little bars between each 9 holes).

I couldn’t just sleep. And that’s how I cope. That’s my one VICE during all of this darkness. Sleep.

But Alun was so excited.

“We can do so many cool things” he urged. The desperation in his eyes just broke my heart.

Alun has been through so much in the past week – texting me every hour to check in on me, driving me to and from work all week to help me, doing everything he could to make me happy, to support me and to be there for me. Alun has turned himself inside out to care for me. He has put me first this whole time.

Now it’s my turn to put him first. Alun needs this.

“Course we can!” I agreed, beaming up at him.

I wanted to wail. To scream out “This weekend is supposed to be my time to rest, Alun”

But he needed this. Alun needed this weekend more than I did. I know it. He works long hours and pushes himself hard to look after us both – he needed a weekend of fun so I made sure I provided it.

Now it’s 7:30pm on a Sunday night. I have a long week of work ahead of me and I’m EXHAUSTED from a weekend of fake smiling, fake laughing, fake encouragement “Another pint! Whey!” and racing around the city after Alun, who really needed some fun.

This is the best part of me and the worst part of me – that I feel compelled to place those I love ahead of myself.

I wish I had been honest with Alun. I wish I had put myself first and said “Gorg, I love you and I know you need a rest and some fun as much as I do right now – but to get through another week of work, I really want to sleep this entire weekend. Please. I need to shut the curtains in this hotel room, pull the doona over me and just sleep. I really need this”

I should have offered Alun the chance to go exploring on his own, but I know Alun’s heart. His happiness is found in doing things with others. I know going out on his own would have just frustrated him in the end…so I didn’t say a thing, I went with him, smiling and praying for the strength to get through another hour. Then praying again for another hour…until we were opening our front door this morning – and I could exhale because I was safe…and I was home at last.

I’m ashamed to say the best thing today was when Alun hugged me ‘goodbye’ and he went off to work.

Because it meant I could be alone. I could take off the ‘smiling mask’ and I could just breathe.

There was no one around to put before myself so for the first time all weekend, I put myself first.

The first thing I did was put on my pjs. So soft, warm and familiar.

God bless him, Alun must have spent his day off on Friday before we went away (Oh Alun, I love you so much) cleaning the house from top to bottom because I didn’t have to do any housework.

I laid on the couch, put my favourite pillows all around me and was asleep within minutes.

I woke up after a wonderful nap and took myself into Fremantle – one of my favourite places because it’s a little olden-days town by the sea. Everyone there seems to go through life at a happier pace – they all wave ‘hello’ to each other, they open doors for each other “after you” “thank you” “have a great day” “Haha I will!”, traffic goes at a much slower pace because pedestrians are all over the town centre, eating amazing food on gorgeous tables and chairs set on street corners in the sunshine, under glossy, healthy trees.

So today was the first day I rested.

I’ve had one day of rest.

I have work first thing tomorrow.

I can’t see myself making it through the day.

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